Contract paraplanning has come a long way in the last five years, yet it still has a long way to go. Financial planning firms and advisers are starting to understand and appreciate the real dollar savings of outsourcing and still producing a quality advice document they can present to their clients.
As with many industries there are different models when it comes to contract paraplanning and understanding how these work can help you decide the best course of action for your business.
1) Individual contractors
Often a financial planning firm has an internal paraplanner whose circumstances change, such as a pregnancy or moving town. This can lead to the paraplanner discussing and arranging with the practice to take on a contracting role with the able to still complete the role of the paraplanner but in this instance, work from home.
This can be an excellent outcome for a practice as they get to retain a key member of their team and often reduce their salaried costs. However, it is important to ensure the practice is truly letting the paraplanner work under a contracting arrangement otherwise the ATO may deem the paraplanner to still be an employee.
If you are unsure of the difference it is important to refer to the ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/business/employee-or-contractor/
2) Paraplanning teams
Some paraplanning teams work with a group of paraplanners working through the requests as they come in. Often this arrangement can be found in dealer groups where they have an internal paraplanning team.
This structure has some great benefits including easier distribution of workflow, training and the ability to cross check each-others work, but can also lead to cherry picking and long turnaround times. Due to the nature of these structures costs are generally higher as often there are substantial overheads for the business.
3) Paraplanning team with one-on-one alignment
Getting the best of both worlds can be achieved by utilising a structure that allows one-on-one paraplanning/adviser alignment whilst also having back up paraplanners to step in where the aligned paraplanner goes on leave etc.
This arrangement allows for individualised training for the aligned paraplanner (just like an employed paraplanner) but has the added benefit of only pay for what you use.
Paraplanner.com.au has taken this final approach and is starting to see the benefits with both adviser and paraplanner benefiting greatly from the structure.
Jason Penna has been involved in financial services for over 14 years, working as a paraplanner, personal financial adviser, and business adviser. With a keen interest and passion for entrepreneurship, Jason has also founded and operated a number of successful online businesses as well as offline businesses. Jason has a vision for the future of paraplanning that will allow advisers and paraplanners to reduce costs, improve business efficiencies and achieve optimal work-life balance whilst working in a profession that they love.